hi – 29apr

Hi. I taught 12 seniors how to use email yesterday. Then I taught a searching class on our Heritage Quest database. Showed a patron what an ISBN was and how it works. Sent out 20 thank-you letters to people who signed up for library cards last week. Got an IM handle for the library [add rutlandfree to your buddy list]. Learned how to change the colors on our ugly OPAC. Friday I’m on the reference desk all day. It’s been a good week to be a librarian.

Posted in hi

would you rather have a less lovely library that was open more? I would.

Let’s just say it: the more money you spend building your Big Beautiful Library, the less you have to pay for staffing, and open hours.

When Seattle voters agreed overwhelmingly in 1998 to foot the $196.4 million bill for new and improved libraries all around town, I’m pretty sure they didn’t expect they’d have fewer hours a week to enjoy the fruits of their investment. But that’s exactly what has happened…. When voters approved [the downtown library], the library was open 70 hours a week…. Now, the downtown library is open 58 hours a week. [lisnews]

go read Cites & Insights

Walt Crawford’s lates Cites & Insights is out and has a fascinating several page discussion of “backchannel communication” going on at conferences, speaker panels, etc. Based on one blog posting and comments and expanded from there, Crawford discusses the recent [in our sphere anyhow] trend of laptop-enabled audience members not only being online during a speaker but communicating via chat or IRC with other attendees, comparing notes and discussing the talk in progress in a more formalized way. This was built into BloggerConII, you can read the transcripts from the librarianesque session if you’d like. I definitely do this during Council meetings sometimes, and yet when there’s a speaker at a conference, I often take special care to be at least one person in the audience who is paying attention, nodding and smiling at the right places, “getting it.” I will always remember the guy from RUSA who did this for me during a difficult right-after-lunch talk in an overhot conference room with bad acoustics when I was struggling to hold people’s attention; it was a kindness